2012 was a big success for the Summer of Service Program at the Sterling House Community Center.
We trained and placed over 50 teenagers at a dozen locations in the area with over 25 percent of our volunteers returning to the program for a second or third summer.
We believe this speaks to the positive impact the community had in making their experience memorable and fulfilling.
Our partnering agencies and businesses include the Baldwin Center, Stratford Recreation Department, ABC Childcare Center, the Kennedy Center, Lord Chamberlain, the Stratford Library, Second Hill Lane Extended School Program, Vitas and the Stratford Board of Education.
As a unique feature of Summer of Service our teens begin and end their program by attending professionally led volunteer workshops with MJ Paris of Positive Impact Consulting Services.
Midway through the summer there is a team building experience with a large scale group service project at Connecticut's Beardsley Zoo. These projects have included clearing the wolf habitat, staining a new structure, weeding gardens and updating the goat enclosure.
We also encourage the volunteers to journal and reflect. Their comments are thoughtful, positive and provide both tangible data and insight into their individual experience.
Thank you to everyone who participated in Summer of Service and providing this valuable opportunity for these teenagers. We hope they will develop a better understanding of the needs in our community and the sense that they can participate in positive change.
One of our volunteers summed it up nicely, "I learned how much, I enjoy helping people from my experience."
We look forward to working with you again next summer!
The Sterling House Community Center